Judiciary Develops Anti-Sexual Harassment Workplace Policy

The Judiciary has a clear plan for promoting a work environment defined by mutual trust and respect, devoid of discrimination, oppression and exploitation.  The Chief Justice, Hon. Rizine Robert Mzikamanda, SC, shared this plan when he opened a one-day validation meeting for the Anti-Sexual Harassment Workplace Policy for the Judiciary on 4th June, 2024 in Lilongwe.

The Chief Justice said, “ [The] Judiciary plans to establish the Anti-Sexual Harassment Workplace Policy, drawing inspiration from the Constitution, the Gender Equality Act and various international and regional instruments, as well as similar policies in the executive branch and other institutions that exist in the country.”

He further explained that apart from providing mechanisms for lodging complaints and protecting employees, the Policy outlines the steps that duty bearers in the Judiciary will take to prevent and address sexual harassment.

The chairperson of the Gender and Sexual Harassment Formulation Task Team, Justice of Appeal Dorothy nyaKaunda Kamanga said that the validation meeting marked a pivotal moment in the Judiciary towards establishing robust frameworks that safeguard the rights and dignity of all judicial officers and members of staff within the Judiciary.

Justice Kamanga further disclosed that as the development of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy was reaching its conclusion, the Task Team was actively working towards securing financial support for the formulation of a Gender Policy.

Zione Ntaba, Judge of the High Court, who was involved in the drafting of the Policy, disclosed that work on the Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy would conclude end July 2024.

The European Union, through the Chilungamo II Project, financed the validation meeting of the Policy, and the European Union Ambassador, His Excellency Rune Skinnebach, congratulated the Judiciary for successfully developing the Policy. The formulation of the Policy was financed by the Judiciary through Government of Malawi funding and the Gender & Justice Unit with funding from Democratic Governance and Rights Unit of Cape Town.

The validation meeting attracted various participants, who included Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court judges, magistrates, traditional, faith and civil society leaders, and these participants gave feedback on the draft Policy.

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